India way behind China, Brazil in trade with Canada

April 4th, 2009 - 1:40 pm ICT by IANS  

By Gurmukh Singh
Toronto, April 4 (IANS) China and Brazil have left India way behind in promoting trade ties with Canada as the world’s ninth largest economy tries to reduce its economic dependence on the US.

Though Canada and the US are the two biggest trading partners in the world with their annual bilateral trade of nearly $700 billion, Canada has started diversifying into other markets as figures released Friday by Statistics Canada revealed.

While India’s two-way trade with Canada is still languishing below the $4 billion-mark, Chinese companies sold $42.6 billion worth of merchandise to Canada last year, up 11.3 percent from 2007. Among major Chinese exports to Canada are telecommunications equipment, games, toys and computers.

On the other hand, Canada’s exports to China totalled $10.4 billion last year, up 9.1 percent from 2007. Canada’s exports to another BRIC nation Brazil also increased 70.7 percent from 2007, the report said.

The report said that Canada’s reliance on the US as its major trading partner fell even faster in 2008 after the

American automobile and housing market crises.

It said while the US accounted for 65.7 percent of Canada’s total merchandise trade in 2008, down from 67.2 percent in 2007, the country’s trade with Asia Pacific countries and Brazil was rising sharply. Though India and Canada signed science and technology and foreign investment protection agreements in 2005 and 2006, their two-way trade remains sluggish.

Ottawa and New Delhi are said to be in informal talks for a free trade agreement to give boost to their trade. Canada is eyeing the big nuclear market in India after the nuclear suppliers group (NSG) last year lifted nuclear ban on New Delhi.

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